Good oral health – improving people’s quality of life
A talk with TePe’s odontology experts
The World Dental Federation defines oral health as multifaceted as it ‘includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without pain, discomfort, and disease of the craniofacial complex. The WHO finds oral health to be a key indicator of overall health, well-being and quality of life, and points out that oral diseases affect 3.5 billion people worldwide, with untreated dental caries being among the most prevalent non-communicable diseases. In addition, a growing number of scientific studies prove that there is an association between periodontitis and several general diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. There is evidently a financial as well as social aspect of contributing to enhanced oral health.
Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, the manager for TePe’s expert team within odontological science and education, says, ‘Raising awareness of the fundamental role of oral health is at the core of TePe’s vision and education is the tool. To drive change for progress, we collaborate with professional dental care services, universities, and distributors worldwide. It’s a social sustainability mission aimed at improving the quality of life for people around the world’.
TePe has had a focus on oral health and preventative dental care ever since the founding in 1965. TePe's collaboration with the dental profession involves product development and educational activities such as webinars, scientific lectures, and dental newsletters.
‘Investing in the profession through education and inspiration means putting a focus on knowledge exchange’, says Anna. ‘We recently created TePe Share as a framework for our efforts to raise the awareness of oral health and its connection to general health. Strongly linked to UN SDG 3, good health and well-being, TePe Share is an essential part of our sustainability work’.
Ralf Seltmann, responsible for clinical affairs in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, sees a growing interest in sustainability from patients, dental practices and dental companies. ‘Sustainability concerns are triggered by climate change and plastic discussions. Resilience of ecosystems is limited and everyone shares a responsibility for preserving the environment. This has led to innovation from producers becoming key criteria for retailers and an opportunity for consumers to make conscious choices’, says Ralf.
‘It’s a positive development because it shows that consumers have an influence. However, the concept of sustainability is complex. Not every creative approach or “green” product leads to better eco-logical and social circumstances. It’s essential to provide people with tools and knowledge to evaluate what is relevant and what criteria to use in their own sustainability check’, he continues. Therefore, TePe’s educational efforts includes lectures and workshops about long-term sustainable choices and how to differentiate between the ‘eco-friendly’ options on the market.
Another piece of TePe’s sustainability puzzle is endorsing the Eklund Foundation for Odontological Research and Education.
‘The Eklund Foundation operates entirely independently from TePe – research must, of course, be carried out separately from company interests to be completely unbiased’, Anna emphasises. ‘However, TePe’s engagement in research and the needs of the dental profession translates into the company’s innovation process. A good product is not just visually attractive; it needs to have a relevant application’.
Ralf concurs. ‘Responsibly produced products and solutions which contribute to long-term physical health and social well-being. That’s something to be proud of.’